All you both seem to do any more is yell and scream at each other. You think the words in your head. You push them out as quickly as they came. You are not ready to hear them. You keep pushing forward, but things are getting worse, not better. Is it time? Are you ready? Most likely not, we get comfortable in a relationship and change is hard. With change brings fear of the unknown. You do not know what is going to happen. Will things be okay?

Relationships are hard, but how do you really know when it is time to end one? This is a painful time, but it could even bring a sense of relief. Especially, if you are experiencing abuse. You could be drifting apart for a long while, or it could be for the last few weeks.


Let’s break down the stages of what is the end and what it can look like for you. Psychology Today has a wonderful list


Factor 1: Precontemplation – Not wanting to make any changes


  1. I am happy with my relationship
  2. My relationship is fine; there is no need to change it.
  3. My relationship is not that bad.
  4. There is no need for me to do anything about my relationship.


Factor 2: Contemplation (thinking about change)


  1. Sometimes I think I should end my relationship
  2. I believe that my relationship is not healthy for me
  3. I am beginning to feel the harmful impact of my relationship
  4. I am beginning to see that my relationship is a problem


Factor 3: Preparation (getting ready to end it)


  1. Although it is difficult to end my relationship, I am making plans to do it anyway.
  2. I have started working on ending my relationship, but I would like some help.
  3. I intend to end my relationship within the next month.
  4. I intend to end my relationship very soon, but am not sure the best way to do it.


Factor 4: action (initiating the relationship’s end)


  1. I have told my partner that I am ending the relationship.
  2. I talk less to my partner when we’re together
  3. I have started spending more time with other people and less time with my partner
  4. I find myself thinking about my partner less and less.


Factor 5: Maintenance (sticking with the relationship’s end)


  1. I changed my daily routine to avoid any association with my partner
  2. I avoid places where I know I will see my partner
  3. I have thrown away items that belong to my partner, or taken steps to get rid of things that remind me of him/her.
  4. I will never return to my partner. (Whitbourne, 2016)


This is a great example of where you could be in your relationship. In essence it never is this simple. Change is still change and emotions get in the way. Regardless you need to do what is best for you and your family.